I am a nurse on a very busy inpatient med-surg floor with quite acute patients. I have been in this job for about 6 months and just continue to wonder if this is what I should be doing.
A little background: I actually graduated with an ADN and worked in LTC while finishing my BSN for a year. I knew LTC was not what I wanted but it was what was available at the time while I was finishing my degree. When I finished my BSN I moved 8 hrs away from friends or family to get this job. The area I was from was not hiring new grads and my LTC experience didn't count. So I am now here with no friends or family and I am miserable. I know that the first year of nursing is always hard but I think I made it even worse for myself by moving so far away from everything I knew. I don't know what to do now. My goal when I moved here was to put in 2 years to get experience and confidence before trying to find a "dream job." I just don't know if I can do that anymore. Through school I had several jobs all lasting right around a year. When I talked to a nurse recruiter before taking this job, I was told that I should really stay in this job for at least 2 years to prove to future employers that I am not a "job hopper." I thought I would be able to do that but now 6 months later, I don't even feel like myself anymore. I do nothing but work. When I get home from work, I have no one to help me get my mind off of work. I'm an anxious wreck all the time and constantly feel like I'm just trying to hold myself together to get through the day. Even my days off, I am constantly thinking about work. I know that having friends in the area would help but that is easier said than done. I am not a very social person and making friends has never been easy for me. I feel like I can't talk to my family about my situation because I don't want them to know how miserable I am. I am really struggling to decide what to do to make myself more content with life.
Truly this job is probably one of the better ones judging by the jobs I have read about on here. The floor I work on is very used to new nurses and there are several other new nurses that started around the same time I did (fortunately the ones I have talked to don't seem to be as unhappy as I am). There is a lot to learn and all of the staff is very helpful and supportive. Of course we are always short staffed but we all do our best to help each other out. I do rotate shifts which I am sure is not great for me either but it's not really an option right now.
I have no aversion to going back to school but I don't know what I would do. I've thought about teaching or CNS in education but I feel like I should have more experience before doing that. I'm not sure what to do now to make life more bearable. Do I move back closer to where family and friends are and risk that putting a stamp on me that says I am a job hopper? Do I just stick it out and chalk this up to making me a stronger person? Do I go back to school? I really thought I liked nursing when I was in school and although I was anxious and nervous, my instructors told me this would make me a good, thorough nurse. I frequently wonder now though if I made the wrong decision. Any words of wisdom, encouragement, or just plain comfort would be much appreciated.